tv Larry King Live CNN October 11, 2010 3:00am-4:00am EDT
in their lives. thanks very much for joining us. in their lives. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >> larry: tonight, the incredible true story of a woman who did the impossible, uneducated, broke, devoted to a brother she spent years in school but became a lawyer and won his release after 18 years behind bars. it's the amazing tale of hope that spared an innocent man wrongfully convicted of a terrible crime. and the subject of a great new film. hillary swank and sam rockwell are here with the real life sister, about the brother she
never gave up on and a dozen men with horror stories of their own. here to tell us what happened to them here on a special edition of "larry king live." good evening. hilary swank, the actress who is a two-time academy award winner, plays betty ann waters in "conviction." the real betty ann waters is -- here also. she went to law school to get her brother out of prison. sam rockwell plays kenneth waters, betty ann's brother who spent 18 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. and tony goldwyn who directed "conviction." this terrific movie, it opens october 15. such stories aren't just the subject of movies. joining us here in los angeles and in dallas, are 12 men all wrongfully convicted of crimes, jailed and ultimately freed. the dallas county district
attorney who plays the central role in their new lives is with us too, and they'll be watching along with you. we'll hear some of their stories a little later in the hour. let's first take a look at a scene from "conviction." >> this is what i'm going to do, don't laugh, all right? i'm going to stop by trying to get my mba after i take the stupid ged test, and if i can get that far, there's no guarantee i'll even get in, i'll apply to law school. but it's going to take a long time, a really long time and i might be 80 years old before i finally become a lawyer and even then i still don't know if i can finance it. but you have to promise me you just have to, that you'll never try to kill yourself again,
because if you do -- just don't. >> i cannot understate how good this movie is, it is a great film. betty ann, what was it like to see yourself played by her? >> surreal. >> first of all, i can't even believe that i got to have her play me. but it was really surreal. i felt bad that she had to actually learn to talk like me and do some of the things i do but she did a fabulous job. >> you didn't have even a high school diploma, right? >> i did have a ged. >> larry: you went to law school and became a lawyer just to get your brother freed? >> yes. >> larry: i what was it like to play her? >> i don't know of betty ann's story before the script was sent to me. i didn't hear about it on the news or anything. but it was a great incredible honor to play this woman who's my real life hero. >> there's no way to underplay this.
it's an incredible film. sam, when you got the script, and you got to play this brother, a conflicted character, did you love it right away? >> i did. i chased after it. i thought it was an amazing script and a great part. i was really excited. >> larry: but you had to play someone who was not a nice guy. a guy who pretty much did this as a viewer. >> he's got a temper. and maybe misunderstood. >> larry: no kidding? >> but he's basically a good guy. >> larry: inside, way inside. >> that's right. >> larry: how did you get to direct it, tony? >> we have been working on this for nine years. >> larry: nine years? >> nine years ago my wife saw a piece on "60 minutes" right after betty ann succeeded in getting him out of prison. she was screaming at me to watch the piece. i missed the segment and she told me the story and i was so moved by it and i thought to
myself, this woman spent 18 and a half years on an act of faith in another human being, in her brother. and i wanted to know about that. i just was so affected by that and i thought what if he did it, what if either she was wrong or if she was never successful, would that have invalidated her faith? and the answer for me was no because just the fact of having that much love and faith for another person and as some of our other guests tonight said to me, just one person believing in you is enough to sustain you through being in prison. >> larry: what did you make of her, hillary, this extraordinary lady? >> i felt she was selfless of, she was full of grace, the determination and drive and belief and ultimately like tony said love that she had for this other human being, the selfless act of giving, really her life is astonishing and, you know, we have all said it to betty and betty ann says what?
i didn't do anything that anyone wouldn't do. and yes, you did. most people wouldn't do this. >> larry: what kept you believing? >> my brother kenny had more faith in me than anybody ever had. >> larry: but he erupted a lot, he lost confidence a lot. >> he never lost confidence in me. >> larry: not you, but in getting out. >> you know, once that we made that promise that i would go to law school, kenny really believed that i would get him out. i didn't really believe i could get him out or find a way, but he did, he did believe it. >> larry: was it tough to play? >> yeah, it was, it was, but it was fun, it was good, hard work and because of tony and hillary, i felt like i was able to step up to the plate. >> larry: did you talk to betty ann about what her brother was like? >> yeah, absolutely. we spent a whole weekend, the three of us with betty ann and her relatives and told stories about kenny and betty ann when they were kids. >> lots of great stories. >> it was a lot of fun, actually, yeah. >> larry: you know, when you see
this film as it evolves, authorities had every right to think he did it. don't you think? early on? >> you know, i took a certain dramatic license here, kenny was no boy scout, there's no doubt about that. and, you know, the thing that's amazing about kenny and about sam's performance. there was kind of like this duality. in one sense, everyone adored kenny and he was the life of the party and was the most kind, generous person, but he could turn in an instant and had a very violent temper. and he attracted trouble, he definitely did. but i in the movie, the authorities, the facts are that the authorities did not have the right to do it. there was a lot wrong with their case, and as you find out in the movies, there was a lot of abuse involved. >> larry: his temper was doing him in, though, wasn't it? >> he had a temper but he was not an aggressor. when somebody confronted him he
didn't know how to handle it. so that's where his temper came from. but he's not the type of person who would break into a home. a and kill them. he wouldn't break into a person's home and kill them. it was always somebody attacking him. >> larry: did he ever have a motive? >> no, he didn't have a motive. >> larry: but he was involved with the woman? >> no. she was just a neighbor. he had no involvement in this whatsoever. we grew up knowing her. she's never said one bad thing about my family, my brother, anybody. >> one thing i think as sam says in the movie, as from the start, he's been, you know, he's been painted with that brush. so if people went, oh, he's a bad guy, he's been busted, he's been in prison, and a lot of times in our society because of someone's past or the way we perceive them, we like to generalize. so that happened to be kenny. >> larry: tony will be coming back with us later. the man who has helped free wrongfully convicted man from prison was an american hero will
>> it's the blood. this is the key. >> what? >> there was so much blood. lou, i'm going do get kenny out. there were no dna tests then. they only knew the murderer was type o and so kenny. but now if we can dna test the murderer's blood and kenny is innocent. just like in a rape case. >> how do you know the blood evidence still exists? >> because we're going to find it. and barry scheck is going to help. >> oh, i see, barry scheck. >> he's the innocence project in new york. >> and you're going to call him up and he's going to take your case? >> yes. >> we're back with the stars of "conviction."
joining us is barry scheck. what do you recollect about this case, barry? >> this was unforgettable. meeting betty ann and her best friend from law school, it was just extraordinary. we had, as people will see in the movie, it's not just getting dna tests on the blood, that wasn't enough. we had to go out and we had to interview the witnesses, we had to reinvestigate the whole case. >> larry: did you take it right away off just her visit? how do you choose what you take? >> well, our standard is very simple. if a dna test can prove you innocent at the innocence project in new york, we'll take your case. there are now 50 other innocence projects in the united states. not all of them rely just on dna, we do. that's a very simple standard. if dna proves you innocent, we'll take your case. >> larry: simple as that? >> simple as that. >> larry: how about all the times there was no dna? >> that's a key problem, because only 10% of dna cases have any biological evidence where you
can do a test and find out if one is guilt or innocence much less identify a perpetrator. there's bad confessions, bad forensic science, jailhouse snitch, police or prosecutors who cross the line or worst of all, a bad defense lawyer, somebody who doesn't have the resources or the ability to make a defense. these are the causes of wrongful convictions and we know what to do about them and we know if we solve them, we're going to benefit the whole system. >> larry: how many people you got now? >> there's been 260 post conviction dna exonerations. hour project has not been the principal in all of them, but about two-thirds. >> larry: 260, all men? >> well, all men. there are some women who got out because they were like co-defendants in the case. >> larry: and these were men who were all in jail for killing someone? >> well, a lot of them are
sexual assaults. 17 people were on death row, i think about 40 of them or so were murders like kenny, if there had been a death penalty in massachusetts. >> larry: what did you think of the movie? >> this movie took 8 1/2 years to get done. and we are thrilled with the movie. i mean -- >> larry: you ought to be. >> it's just got a lot of integrity to it. it was brilliantly done, the performances of hillary and sam and everybody. we always need to get irish men -- >> larry: you look so much alike. how important was barry to you, betty? >> well, you know, hillary says that i'm her hero, barry is definitely my hero, i say that all the time. without him it wouldn't have happened. i don't believe it would have. he's very important to me. >> larry: hillary, have you learned more about this now that you have made this movie that all of these people are free? >> absolutely. that's one of the blessings of my job. that i get to walk in someone
else's shoes and learn something that i wouldn't if i weren't an actor. >> larry: one can only imagine, sam, to be and we'll meet some of the gentlemen later who are here tonight in our studio, to play someone who didn't do what he's charged with doing, what's it like, how do you feel to be a prisoner when you're innocent? >> it's hard for me to imagine, i mean as much research as i did, it's still unfathomable to put yourself in that position. you talk to some of these people, you see documentaries, it's really unimaginable. >> larry: wouldn't you think you would go nuts, barry? to be in jail if you didn't do something? >> i think we have lost a lot of people who couldn't deal with it. >> suicide? >> there's a pattern about these people. the first two or three years you're in prison for a crime you didn't commit, it eats you alive, the anger is just beyond imagination and at a certain point in order to survive, you
have to transcend it and it's an incredible, spiritual act. and, you know, people say oh, they're not bitter when they get out. i mean, these men have good reason for resentment. but what people are picking up when they say that is that there's a certain spiritual transcendence that's remarkable. >> larry: how many more in the country are in prison and don't belong there? the movie is "conviction." it opens october 15. we'll get some more answers next. more for their money.
>> larry: we're back with barry scheck and hilary swank and sam rockwell, all involved in this extraordinary film "conviction" which opens october 15. you describe the character you play as a lovable screw up, right? >> that might be a different film. >> larry: he was, though, wasn't he, barry? >> he was. you know, sam's portrayal is terrific. >> larry: it's unbelievable.
>> because kenny was really funny, he was really the life of the party, as they were saying. but also, i mean, my god, what he went through and his experiences were really extraordinary. he really had one of the worst imprisonments of any client we have had. i mean -- >> larry: really? >> he had hepatitis c, he really suffered terribly in prison and he came out with such a life force. isolation, yeah. >> larry: did you ever give up, betty? >> me? >> all those years? >> no, i have bad times, there were times when i didn't think i would be able to make it. there were many hurdles i had to take one at a time, but i knew i couldn't give up because i would have a lot to lose, i would have lost kenny. >> larry: your coactor and friend al pacino told me after
playing kevorkian that he likes playing real people, people he got to know. did you enjoy playing someone who you knew? >> i did enormously. i played a lot of real life people and it's kind of a trajectory i can see now looking back in my career. but only two, including one of them being betty ann, were actually alive. it's wonderful, it's like, you know, a lot of my homework is just hanging out with her. and playing fictional characters, you have to kind of make up a lot of the details and the specifics about what you're doing, but getting to meet betty ann, i got to meet all of the onion layers of a person, you know? >> larry: well put, kenny was arrested two years after the murder. let's watch another clip from "conviction." >> when time was roughest, benjamin made sure there was food on the table.
>> i need to interrupt you, father. kenneth waters, you're under arrest. you need to come with us. >> can't we wait until after the funeral? >> that's okay. just take care of man dye. okay, i'm coming, i'm coming. >> please, can't this wait? >> what's that for? >> just until after the funeral? >> oh, my god. give us a break over here. >> kenneth waters, you're under the arrest for the murder of katarina brown. >> you let me go two years ago? >> we got you now. >> is that a hard scene to do? >> it always takes a lot of focus in a scene like that, it's surreal, you try to imagine that happening. >> did you watch the filming? >> i watched a lot of the filming, i was there for most of it.
>> larry: did it feel funny? >> very funny, and you never know how it's going to end up because i see how hard they work, they can work 14 hours to do one minute of a scene and i'm like you don't know which minute will be on the screen later. >> larry: tony said they take some liberties, is there a lot? or is it pretty much true to form? >> pretty much true to form. the only difference might be some of the sequence might be different. everything didn't happen at the same time that they said it but everything did happen. and everybody just portrayed those feelings perfectly. especially juliette lewis. >> i reached my hand in the pocket and there was like layer upon layer of kleenex. you said this was cathartic for you to relive. >> yes, i spent many hours talking to hillary, sam, tony, and i always felt later that i was doing therapy. it was sort of years of therapy. it was the same thing on set.
>> larry: how long after he got out did he die? >> six months. >> larry: how did he die? >> an accidental fall. he fell and hit his head and died of a brain injury. >> larry: how old was he? >> 47. >> larry: you're around tragedy all the time, scheck, aren't you? >> it seems that way. i know, i know. >> larry: the movie is "conviction." i can't extol it enough the terrific minnie driver joins us next.
we're going to be friends, we're the only ones in class who have been through puberty. i'll start. i got these lefty parents and they're always telling me i should put my big mouth to use and go into the system. so you know, i ignored them, of course. then after partying for too many years, i finally figured out what i wanted to be when i grew up and it turned out my parents were right so here i am. what about you? >> i just don't have time for a friend right now. >> yeah you do. i mean i'm all you got. >> larry: we're back, joining us is minnie driver, the academy award nominated actress. she place abra rice in the movie "conviction" and the real -- she helped her prove that kenny was
innocent. we have an actress and the person she played and an actress and the person she played. minnie, how did you play this part? >> i couldn't believe that it was a real story when i read it and i knew that i loved hillary, but falling in love with ms. rice was fantastic. i mean i don't look anything like her and i think tony goldwyn, maybe he saw that we have the same sort of spirit. >> larry: right, you don't look alike at all. all right, abra how well did she get you? >> pretty well. she was a lot nicer. >> larry: were you as tough as you were portrayed? >> tougher. >> larry: do you think she was -- they wouldn't have gone much further if she weren't around, would they, barry? >> she's a public defender in new haven. she's the real deal.
>> larry: you are a public defender in new haven now? >> yes. >> larry: and what was it like for you to play a real person? >> it's very strange, but amazing. because abra was there for a lot of the scenes that i filmed and it was really good to witness her and betty ann's relationship which is based on a lot of razzing and humor and i think when you've been through the kind of war that they went through together, you come out the other side with a pretty strong relationship. >> larry: did you know kenny well? >> briefly. >> larry: did you believe he was innocent? >> absolutely. >> larry: what made you believe it? we understand the sister. you weren't a sister. what made you believe it? >> because betty thought he was innocent. so i thought he was innocent and that's the reason i went to law school. so help the innocent. and not so innocent. >> larry: as a public defender, everyone tells you they're
innocent, right? >> everybody. >> larry: so how do you break down the difference? >> well, they're there as barry knows to perform a service. it's not up to the public defender or the defense attorney to make that decision. but my friend betty ann said her brother was innocent, i believed he was innocent. >> larry: did hillary get you to play this, minnie? >> she was a big reason that -- >> larry: you're friends? >> we are friends now. >> larry: you weren't friends then? >> we didn't know each other. we have the same amazing manager. and he kind of put us together. but it was, you know, an extraordinary story with hillary and tony goldwyn directing and -- >> larry: that it is. >> and sam rockwell, too. >> larry: betty, did minnie get your friend right? >> yes, she did. >> no, it was so wrong, it was terrible.
>> larry: abracadabra. >> abra has an unbelievable story and she can be very uplifting. and i think minnie definitely captured that. >> larry: let's look at another scene from "conviction." watch. >> betty, they destroyed it. >> no. that evidence exists somewhere and i'm going to find it. >> okay, let's say you do find it. what if the dna matches kenny's? >> get out. get the hell out of my house right now. >> no. you got to hear this. you can be an amazing fighter, the most brilliant lawyer in the world. there are forces greater than you and you may not win. >> do you think i haven't thought of that? >> no, you haven't. >> larry: 12 men who were wrongfully convicted are watching this show with us here in los angeles and in dallas.
we'll meet a few of them a little later. you'll see all of them. to learn more about their stories, check out a great new book, "tested." how 12 wrongfully imprisoned men held on to hope, it's in bookstores next week. or you can go to cnn.com/larry king. more after this. stick around. s big g cereals. they put a white check on the top of every box to let people know that their cereals have healthy whole grain, and they're the right choice... (announcer) general mills makes getting whole grain an easy choice. just look for the white check. an easy choice. go ahead. mark your calendars. because that's the first day you can switch your medicare part d plan. we're ready, and we can't wait to switch. [ male announcer ] make the switch to an aarp medicarerx plan, insured through unitedhealthcare. call now for a free information kit. discover why these part d plans are so popular with over 4.3 million members. [ man ] what i wanted was simple. the most value for my dollar. so now that it's time, we're making the move to a plan that really works for us.
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never a doubt, never. >> so what is the first thing you're going to do? >> hug and kiss my uncle and bring him home where he belongs. >> larry: barry, people wrongfully in prison, is it generally the case that the prosecutor has too much zeal or that they were acting purely on the information they had? >> well, you know, it's a mixed bag like anything else. there's some prosecutors, like our friend craig watkins here from dallas, who really will look at a case, a case that's been decided and has a conviction integrity unit that will look at it and see whether or not the evidence merits a re-examination and there's some prosecutors unfortunately that, you know, get this tunnel vision and they won't accept any contrary proof. >> larry: so there's some prosecutors that know there's innocent people in prison, or do they convince themselves that they're guilty. >> they convince themselves for
the most part, that they're guilty. >> larry: by the way, who wrote this movie? >> pamela gray. >> pam gray, a fantastic screenwriter and she and tony goldwyn did a walk on the moon. my next door neighbor is the original producer of this movie and so from the very beginning, andy said we have got to get these two involved and we did and when your talk about minnie and abra and betty ann and repartee. i think pam gets a lot of credit. because she's a brooklyn girl and she got it exactly right. >> larry: brooklyn girls would. >> it's an emotional picture, some very funny scenes in it. but basically this is hard. >> i think this is at the core, at the heart of it a feel good movie and i think people want to see feel good right now. i think this is a time on earth that people need that.
and i think it's going to do well because of it. it's really a love story between a brother and a sister at its core. >> larry: you say you'll have a good feeling coming out, you will, but you'll also be perturbed, don't you think? you'll be a little angry? >> about? >> that there's so much injustice. >> of course, but it runs the gamut, you know, i mean from the injustice that is portrayed and people will hopefully look into that and want to do something about that, they'll look into the innocence project, you can go on to the innocenceproject.org and learn more about what you can do to help. i think they'll feel hopeless and they'll feel hopeful again and they'll feel uplifted by the love. >> and question whether you would do it for a family member yourself, just what you would you do, how far would you go. >> and inspiration will actually take you past all odds which is what i think hillary is saying here. i mean that's what people need to hear now, and they need to
see it in real life with a real life hero. >> you had to stick by her, too. you had to be strong for her. >> it was easy. >> larry: and how proud you must be of this. >> i'm very, very proud of this. my brother would be king. >> larry: was your brother getting back into life? >> it was the best six months of his entire life. he was enjoying life, all the shows, he would talk to anyone that would listen, and everybody wants to listen. i used to get calls and he would say, people want to meet my sister, come on and i said, kenny, i'm in bed. >> we'll be back with the true story of "conviction" both onscreen and off. because you're is going do meet some others who say it happened to them. stick around. stick around. it's a more complete way to a better dental check-up. giving you a clean, healthy mouth. new crest pro health complete rinse.
>> larry: talking about a new film coming to you in a couple of weeks, the film is "conviction" with hillary swank, betty ann waters, director tony goldwyn and attorney barry scheck. why did it take so long to get made? >> because movies like this are hard. you got to do them right or they tend to be -- they can be easily sort of generic. and overly sentimental and people get a little nervous about that. what were you going to say, hill? >> wouldn't you say just getting a movie made at all is hard? >> every time you make a movie it's a miracle and it's an act of will so there's no question about that. >> even with "million dollar baby," they said we didn't want to make this.
i mean being nominated. so making movies is just hard. >> when this movie was first sold, the movie business was different than it is today. i mean now, the budgets are lower, there's more transformers and you know stuff in the theaters. i mean frankly, it's the influence of cable tv, such great stuff on cable tv in terms of drama. >> larry: hbo and -- >> right. >> not to interrupt you, a lot of people i find, you know, you mentioned transformers, studios like something that they know exactly how to sell it. but i have had so many people coming up to me saying where are all the adult movies, where are the movies we want to see? not that there's not a place for great action movies and whatnot.
>> larry: shouldn't we be amazed that there's not more anger in the country, that people are behind bars who didn't do it? >> i think that, as you know, larry, because you have been covering these stories for years there's so many of these exonerations, there's so many of these cases and actually we have more people in prison in this country than any place except russia and iran. so one in four people in this country have somebody they know that was arrested. and i really feel that we have seen it from the screenings and from what happens when people see this movie, if we can get people into the theater to see this movie, you know, the word of mouth is going to be phenomenal. >> larry: also betty, you're a lawyer now, do you think there's a true assumption of innocence in america? >> a true assumption of innocence. >> we're supposed to assume everybody is innocent until proven guilty. >> i think that that is what happens because before this happened to my brother, i thought people that were in prison were guilty. >> larry: there's no pure assumption of innocence? >> i don't think so. >> larry: if somebody is arrested, people assume that they did it?
>> i think for the most part, yeah. >> you do tony, right? >> i think that's a fact. i think in our country, in our society, maybe in the world as human beings, we like quick answers to things and we want to be certain and if something awful happened that is terribly traumatic and upsetting, we want an answer immediately, so we crave closure and so if that's the guy, great, get it done with. >> larry: we're going to come back and meet the men who have been watching this show with you. all of them, all of them, wrongfully convicted for serious crimes now free to tell us what happened to them. you'll also meet a very courageous da. don't go away.
we have made a finding of actual innocence in this matter. >> you knew your son was innocent all along, right? >> i knew it, yes. i was positive about it. >> larry: that was stephen brody released from prison just friday, wrongfully convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child. stephen is one of the men watching our show from dallas. and here in los angeles, craig watkins, the dallas county district attorney, he refused to destroy evidence from old cases which ultimately led to 20 exonerations. johnny lindsay, wrongfully convicted in aggravated rape, served 26 years until a dna test proved his innocence. keith turn, wrongfully convicted of rape, served ten year, dna
cleared him. steven phillips, wrongfully convicted of aggravated rape, served 24 years. dna freed him. christopher scott, wrongfully convicted of capital murder, freed after another prisoner confessed. billy james smith, wrongfully convicted of aggravated assault. served almost 20 years. dna proved he was not a rapist. thomas mcgowan, wrongfully convicts of burglary and aggravated sexual assault. he served 23 years before dna testing proved his innocence. andre karrod was wrongfully convicted. james giles was wrongfully convicted of aggravated sexual assault. he served ten years, dna helped exonerate him. richard miles wrongfully convicted of murder and attempted murder. served 15 years.
evidence naming the real killer never provided to the defense. he was released when this tragic mistake was uncovered. victor thomas wrongfully convicted of rape, kidnapping and robbery, served 16 years. dna tests proved he wasn't the rapist. eugene horton, wrongfully convicted of sexual assault, served 18 months, dna tests led to his conviction being overturned. >> larry: that was steven brody released from prison just friday, wrongfully conflicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child. steven is among the men watching craig watkins, the dallas county district attorney. and attorney barry scheck, craig was canes, dallas county
district attorney, what led you to hold on to this as opposed to other d.a.'s who didn't? >> well, you know, i was elected as a new d.a. in dallas county in 2006 and took office in 2007, and upon my first week of entering office, i was requested by a longtime assistant d.a. to sign a form to allow all the evidence to be destroyed, and, you know, i had practiced law for a while in dallas county, and i thought that that was not going to be a wise decision so i refused to sign the motion to have the evidence destroyed. it's probably for the last three years as a district attorney for dallas county, one of the best decisions that i've made. my first week in office there was an exoneration of a man who had been trying to have his name cleared for five years. and fortunately i got the opportunity to go downstairs and apologize to that individual for his wrongful conviction, and i didn't think anything of it. i thought it's the responsibility of the elected district attorney to restore credibility to the criminal justice system and at least give an apology to an individual who
had been wrongfully convicted and so i did, that and after that it became a big media storm as to the fact that i just went down and apologized. soon after that, we had someone from the innocence project contact us and said, dallas county has been a haven of wrongful convictions for years, and this is the opportunity for you, mr. d.a., to look at these cases and make sure that it never happens again. >> larry: i salute you. we'll talk with some of the men after this.
larry: this book will be released next week, "tested," about men wrongfully convicted. johnny, you served 26 years, johnny lindsay. how did you put up? what kept you going? >> well, the fact that, first of all, i knew i wasn't guilty of the crime. and i just thought it was so harsh that i was just literally kidnapped by the police, the district attorney's office, and all the -- i felt like i was kidnapped and just thrown away. and -- >> larry: but what kept you going? >> well, it was the faith that i had that right will always override wrong. and somehow some way i knew that the truth would come out that i wasn't the perpetrator.
and i just prayed. i just kept the faith, and it was the only thing i know to do to keep from going insane. and i kind of -- in relation to "conviction," when bobby, i think that was his name, he was talking about committing suicide, but then that's the side of the conviction, a wrongful conviction, that people don't know or hear about. >> larry: let me ask richard in dallas. evidence naming the real killer in your case was never provided to the defense. weren't you angry and bitter when you got released? >> yes, sir, i was. but if i dwell on the anger, i can't get past it, and i had to hold on to the hope. i had to stay focused on my father, who was a bishop, who passed away before i got out. the determination that i had was put in me when i was young and
that inevitably was the thing that inspired me to move on. >> larry: and, keith, you were wrongfully -- you're here in l.a. you were wrongfully convicted of rape. you served 16 years. it had to be more than faith. what kept you going? >> my mother, you know, she was a woman of faith, and she instilled in me, and, to believe in what's right. and you know, she was my guidance. and she taught me everything i know. she taught me how to be a man. and you know, she -- she believed in me, and she was there for me. and, you know, my theme in the book "tested" is attributed to my mother for being there for me. >> larry: somewhat like betty
ann waters was as a sister, right? >> yes. >> larry: believing in someone. >> yes. >> larry: james, what kept you going? >> my faith in god and trusting that sooner or later that the truth will prevail. and so after the truth really came to light through the innocence project of new york, i got writing letters with barry scheck that i got acquainted, and my faith kept hope that one day that this will come to the light. and so that's why it's so important that everyone should see that book "tested" to know that i would hope -- my hope was in god, that i knew that one day my mother and them dead and gone that the truth will prevail. >> larry: is that the -- barry, is that the common thread? faith? >> well, faith and a belief that somehow, you know, truth crushed to earth will rise again and no lie will live forever. >> larry: but these men, some
that were on death row that you saw others maybe that were put to death who didn't do it. >> i think that's definitely happened in this country, larry. >> larry: how do you redress that grievance? >> well, we're actually going to have a hearing this coming week in austin, texas, about one of those cases involving a man named cameron todd willingham, and we're asking a judge there to actually make a ruling that an innocent man was wrongfully executed in the united states. >> larry: you're saying they will make an announcement by a judge in texas next week? >> we have a hearing wednesday and thursday. >> larry: that texas kill someone wrongfully. >> it's a case involving a man named cameron todd willingham. >> larry: i read about him. >> there was an article written about him in the "new yorker" and that's what's in the courts. >> larry: i congratulate you all you men, the district attorney especially, craig watkins for being so openminded. the movie is "conviction" opens october 15th. it's great. for more on these incredible stories and information about